Category Archive for: ‘Learning techniques’

Versuchen Vs. Probieren

Probieren vs. Versuchen – Sometimes you just need to try

A few weeks ago at our Stammtisch one of our Stammgäste was ordering a beer from the giant list of speciality brews featured at Fork and Bottle and asked, “Darf ich das Bier bitte versuchen, bevor ich es bestelle?” I

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Telephoning in German — What you need to know

[Ring, ring, ring. Click.] Marathon Sprachen. Langenegger am Apparat, guten Tag. Ah, ah, ah, … English?… Oh, yes, English is ok. … The above telephone conversation occurs on a regular basis even with people who have a B1 or higher

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How to practice your German — Du musst mehr sprechen!

Anytime a new student comes to me for German lessons, and they have already learned some German, I hear the same story – “Whenever I try to speak German (here in German speaking Switzerland), be it in a grocery store,

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Expressing your New Year’s Resolutions in German — Future Tense with Modals

Today is New Year’s Eve (Silvester) and everyone is getting ready for the big party (die Party) tonight. Of course many of you are also putting together lists of your New Year’s Resolutions (der Neujahrsvorsatz / die Neujahrsvorsätze) one of

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Well that’s just perfect! — Using das Perfekt in German

A few weeks ago one of our Facebook followers asked me to write about using the perfect (das Perfekt)in German. This post is mean to be an answer to that question and a detailed continuation of the posts “Understanding German

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German Halloween Vocabulary and Customs

On Wednesday it’s Halloween again. No doubt many of you have celebrated this weekend, and those of you living in Catholic cantons (Kantone) and federal states (Bundesländer) can expect to have November 1st, All Saints’ Day (Allerheiligen) off. So there

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Getting Fit in German — Weekly Planner to Improve your German

Three years ago when we started Marathon Sprachen, we chose the name because we knew that learning a language is very similar to learning to run a marathon. Language learning is not based on learning facts, but learning skills. Like

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Decoding German Questions to Unlock the Answer

Anytime I start teaching a new student I realize one thing. Most people believe that there is no system to the new language they are learning. The good news is though that there is. In this blog post I want

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Zu / An Weihnachten — Regionalisms

About a month ago I wrote a series of blogs on the different German prepositions, which we can all remember fall into the following four categories: accusative, dative, two-way, and genitive. Have you mantrafied and memorized them yet? 

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Prepositions Part 3: Two-Way Prepositions

So for the past two weeks we’ve been learning our accusative and dative preposition. We’ve made up rhymes and sing them to waltzes and we feel confident. What are the most important ones? Right! Well there are still two types

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Prepositions 2: Datives on the Danube

For over a week now you’ve been busy learning your accusative prepositions: bis, durch, entlang, für, gegen, ohne, um. You’ve done so well that you’ve even come up with your own mantras, rhymes, and even songs. Congratulations, you’re on your

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